Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the state government for not preparing and finalizing a masterplan for Gulmarg.
The court said, “We stand disapproved on conduct of officers of Gulmarg Development Authority for making delay in preparation and finalization of masterplan Gulmarg.”
The court directed Principal Secretary Tourism to ensure that the masterplan is finalized with the consultation from consultants from the state or outside, the choice lies with the government.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on conservation of Gulmarg, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed that the authorities are playing with court directions, “which we cannot tolerate”.
“From 2017, directions were passed to authorities for finalization of Master Plan. We are now in the year 2018, but till date same has not been done,” the division bench said.
The court remarked that filing of litigation has an object to redress the grievances of the general public. To advance the cause of the public, execution lies in the hands of government agencies.
“The approach adopted by the concerned agencies is totally unaccepted. If five years have been taken for preparations of the master plan what more can be said now on the working of government officials,” the court said. Amicus Curie Aijaz Chesti also submitted before court that the approach of the authorities towards court directions is totally unacceptable. Despite many directions being passed on finalization of master plan, nothing has been done. Encroachment of state land at Gulmarg is also going on, but the authorities are in deep slumber.
The court after hearing the Amicus Curiae directed Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg, to file a fresh report with regard to encroachment of state land at next hearing.
The court said, “That environment as a whole needs to be saved as species depend on each other for survival.”
Justice Ramalingam remarked that Gulmarg needs to be maintained on scientific lines.